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Science is getting new digs

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By Keith Capstick

The Ryerson faculty of science is getting 20,000 square feet of new lab space.

Ryerson has leased the space from the MaRS building on College Street, across from the University of Toronto’s St. George campus. Before faculty moves in, the space will be renovated and equipped with state-of-the-art materials for students and researchers.

Imogen Coe, the dean of the faculty of science, says the space was urgently needed.

“The space will be slotted out for researchers who currently have either no space at all, or very small and outdated amounts of space,” Coe said.

This space will be dedicated almost entirely to the science faculty in an effort to accommodate the discipline’s unique space requirements.

“We signed an agreement with MaRS to get new space, which would also be available to our researchers including students … which is a huge addition to our researchers in biology and science in general,” said Ryerson interim president Mohamed Lachemi.

The space will be largely “wet lab space,” where chemicals and other hazardous substances can be handled safely in liquid form.

This is the latest in a succession of initiatives from the administration to create more space for the faculty of science. Ryerson was at St. Michael’s Hospital on Jan. 26 to unveil its new Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology (iBEST) which will house 15 faculty members and 40 students. The school plans to set aside a large portion of the new Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex to various science departments and nursing.

Lachemi recognizes this consistent effort to growing the faculty.

“The faculty of science is the newest faculty at Ryerson and of course we have to accommodate their space needs,” Lachemi said.

Bryan Laks, a third-year bio-medical science student, is excited about the prospect of having improved equipment and hopes the school’s motivation to create more science space will help put the program on the map.

“All of our labs are in Kerr Hall right now and it’s just a very out-dated building. All the labs are a bit outdated, they have the old chalk-boards and some of the equipment has kind of broken down,” Laks said. “Every single time somebody asks me my program their first question is, ‘Oh I didn’t know Ryerson had science.’ This will definitely give us a name.”

Construction is set to begin on the renovation of the space this spring and will be finished in time for the beginning of January 2017, according to Lachemi.

Correction: A previous version of this story mistakenly stated that renovations would be completed by beginning of the next academic year in September. In fact, it will be completed at the beginning of the next calendar year, in January 2017.

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